The dream of many to see the NBA expand to a new city is still alive, and it probably just got more promising with rumors swirling that the league will be using the 2023 In-Season Tournament as a testing ground for a potential Las Vegas franchise expansion, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“Multiple front office executives from NBA teams who spoke with HoopsHype believe the In-Season Tournament games in Las Vegas are a preview for an eventual expansion team to come to the city According to the executives, having those games will give the league a chance for a true market test run to see how the city would perform if it gets an NBA team.”
The NBA In-Season Tournament will be introduced in the 2023-24 NBA season. It features group play and knockout stages, with the semifinals and the championship game scheduled to be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The semis will be played on Dec. 7, while the title game will be on Dec. 9.
Adam Silver had already voiced optimism about the NBA expanding in the near future when he said last July that the league “will turn to expansion once those new media deals are done,” while conversing with reporters during the Associated Press Sports Editors conference held in Las Vegas.
Apart from Las Vegas, Seattle is also among the top cities being talked about as a potential expansion location for the league.
Las Vegas already has a WNBA team (Las Vegas Aces) and an NHL franchise (Vegas Golden Knights), with the MLB potentially having one there down the road.